From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-At last, a new twist on the aviators' story-one that recognizes them as "the first celebrities of the 20th century." It took a few years after their historic first flight for the brothers to achieve renown, but by 1909, when the events in this book take place, they were indeed acclaimed and invited to give public exhibitions. The events of 1903 are summarized in the authors' introduction, but here they take readers even higher, touching the sky above New York Harbor and Berlin's Templehof Field. Both brothers had been invited to participate in New York City's 300th-anniversary celebration named in honor of explorer Henry Hudson and inventor Robert Fulton. Orville had already committed to a contract in Europe so Wilbur packed his bags and his flyer and headed for New York with his mechanic. These two events, marking one of the few times the almost inseparable brothers were apart, are uniquely re-created here. Fiore's detailed watercolors dramatically and accurately record the two venues. The narrative, too, is laced with engaging facts that are successfully married to the pictures. The engaging presentation ends with a short epilogue that completes the Wrights' story, an aviation time line, and two 1909 maps-one of Manhattan island with highlighted monuments, one of Europe.Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-4. This picture book takes the unusual step of introducing Wilbur and Orville Wright separately, as individuals. In September 1909, Wilbur put together and modified a flying machine on Governors Island in New York Harbor and piloted it over crowds of awed New Yorkers. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, Orville assembled and flew another Wright Flyer before excited onlookers in France and Germany. An epilogue shows the brothers reunited in Dayton and continues the story until their deaths. Strung across the pages in the manner of free verse, the narrative reads like prose, but good, solid prose made more accessible, perhaps, by all the white space on the pages. Equally effective are Fiore's sensitive watercolor illustrations of the cityscapes, landscapes, people, and flying machines. Maps and a time line are appended. Complementing the many books that focus on the Kitty Hawk flights, this offers a more personal introduction to the famous inventors. Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved